Wednesday, January 26, 2022

APEDA’s MoU with ICAR-IIMR set to revive Millets for India’s nutritional security

The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ICAR-Indian Institute of Millet Research (ICAR-IIMR) on Friday (3rd September 2021).

The MOU signed with the primary objective of increasing exports through quality production & processing is anticipated to boost value addition and farmers’ income.

Objectives:

Although the primary objective for signing the MOU has been mentioned above, there are multiple other objectives that it will fulfill along the way. Some of those are enlisted below:

Creation of market linkages with farmers & FPOs:

The MoU envisions the creation of market linkages with farmers and Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs).

For this, a joint coordination committee would be set up with representatives from APEDA and ICAR-IIMR to achieve the goals enshrined in the MoU.

To promote commercial cultivation of processable varieties developed by ICAR-IIMR for exports:

It is one of the key focus areas of the MoU to promote the commercial cultivation of processable varieties developed by ICAR-IIMR for exports.

Doing so is anticipated to promote the value addition of the highly nutritive variety of cereals, called millets.

To build the export centric ecosystem:

Further, the MoU aims to build an export-centric ecosystem with requisite supply chain linkages, technological repository, clinical studies, awareness creation, policy changes, and a pipeline of entrepreneurs.

Thus, both APEDA & ICAR-IIMR would work for developing knowledge on how to analyze export competitiveness, price volatility of markets, and market intelligence on standards, regulations, and trade policies, understanding markets, consumer preferences, and emerging segments.

Creation of a Millet Export Promotion Forum:

To source considerable quantities of produce & link stakeholders with FPO’s, both APEDA & ICAR-IIMR will work for the creation of a Millet Export Promotion Forum in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Revival of millets for Nutritional security in the country:

Millets are highly nutritive cereal crops, categorized as small-seeded grasses.
Some of the key varieties of millets include Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Ragi, Small Millet, Foxtail Millet, Barnyard Millet, Kodo Millet, among others.

At the core of signing the MoU between APEDA & ICAR-IIMR lies the objective of reviving millets for ensuring the nutritional security of the country. The MOU gives thrust on the sensitization, promotion & policy advocacy to the Government departments for bringing new policy changes & convergences in favor of millet exports.

International Year of Millets (IYM):

Recently, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed the resolution to celebrate the International Year of Millets (IYM) in 2023, to promote the health benefits of millets and their suitability under the changing climatic conditions globally.

The resolution passed by the U.N. General Assembly was sponsored by India and supported by more than 70 countries.

Roadmap (Way forward):

APEDA & ICAR-IIMR would jointly develop an export strategy to conduct training programs for the existing millet processors & entrepreneurs on various export policies and schemes for increasing the exports of millets.

The development & implementation of novel frameworks such as Traceability, Artificial intelligence, etc. would be taken into consideration for promoting the export of millets. Handholding activities for the startups for export compliance are also envisaged under the MoU.

Further, the profiling of farmers who grow Millets in all major millet growing regions of the country and strengthening of the seed supply chain would be taken up by ICAR-IIMR.

APEDA’s relentless contributions to exports promotion:

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, APEDA was established in December 1985 by the Government of India for exports promotion of select agricultural products.

Since then, it has been initiating measures to boost agricultural exports from the non-traditional regions and states of India. It has been conducting virtual buyer-seller meets and festivals to promote the export of several Indian GI-tagged products.

APEDA has also been conducting virtual buyer-seller meets and festivals in Berlin, Germany, especially to promote the export of mangoes there.

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